The Warm Down: Reds go top of the league
(Photo by Clive Brunskill via Getty Images)

It was an extremely close and well-fought game but Liverpool had enough to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield to go top of the league ahead of Spurs. Roberto Firmino’s late header secured the points for Jurgen Klopp’s side and will give them a huge boost for the remainder of the busy Christmas period.

Liverpool played the majority of the game on the front foot, trying to create chances against a strong Tottenham defence. They kept on coming, and found their opener through Mohamed Salah in the 26th minute. Salah’s deflected shot looped into the top corner. It may have been a lucky break for the Reds, but they had deserved the lead. Liverpool’s build-up play was fantastic and they were great on and off the ball.

Spurs levelled the game in the 33rd minute through Son Heung-min. A quick counter-attack put Son one-on-one and he took the chance well. Tottenham had a couple of great opportunities to score, using their counter attack perfectly. Steven Bergwijn had the best chances and hit the post as well.

Both teams played very well and it was an interesting game to watch with both managers using different tactics and the two teams executing them well.

But, it was Liverpool who took the points with Firmino’s 90th minute header being the decider.

  • Curtis Jones continues to grow

The 19-year-old has been a regular in the team and had another great game. He is quietly going about his business and has slotted into the midfield with ease. Jones looks as if he has been a regular in the team for a number of years and is already playing at a high level. His progress over the past 12 months has been incredible.   

Against Tottenham he did everything right. He played the right passes and used his flair to break into Tottenham’s final third. It was his dribble in the first half that allowed for Salah to score.

Defensively Jones has improved a lot as well and allowed Andy Robertson to attack.

 

  • Front three do the business

The front three also had good games, with two of them on the scoresheet.

Firmino looked close to his best and deserved his goal. When he came deep for the ball his close control was great and caused Spurs problems.

The Brazilian also did a great job at driving into the box to create goal-scoring opportunities for himself. This is something that can be missing from his game. He had a couple of really good chances to score.

Salah also had another great game and has continued his good goal scoring form this season. His goal now takes him to 11 in the Premier League and he is the joint top scorer along with Son and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Salah and Sadio Mane both played slightly narrower and were in and around the penalty box a lot more than usual. For Salah this allowed him to get into good scoring positions and be a constant threat to Hugo Lloris’ goal.

Salah’s tracking back was also commendable.

For Mane unfortunately, it wasn’t his best game. He struggled with this different positioning and drifted to the right-wing a lot. Mane also played in the central role for a while but struggled with this too.

His goal drought has continued to eight Premier League games. The last team he scored against was Everton.

Mane did finish the game well once he went wider and started to get one-on-one with Serge Aurier but generally looked unconfident in front of goal.

  • Finishing the year strong

Liverpool’s win against Spurs made amends for their disappointing draw against Fulham last weekend and has given them a lead at the top of the league. Four points across those two games is pretty good.

With three tough but winnable games left in 2020, this could be a good chance for the Reds to extend their lead.

The busy schedule continues into the new year and it will be important for Liverpool to try to get a good run through this time. This could very well see Liverpool draw the odd game but if they can get through this period with a good record then they could have a good chance of retaining the Premier League.

Hopefully a couple of players will return from injury in the new year to give Liverpool a better chance of winning the league.    

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